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Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School
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Wednesday, October 4 is International Walk to School Day and on that day Minneapolis Public Schools will join families around the world to celebrate the joys and reap the benefits of walking and biking to school and work. Schools can celebrate on that day or any day in October. Schools that register to participate in the event will receive an awesome “prize package” with I WALKED and I BIKED stickers and other incentives and technical assistance to help make the event a success. Staff who participate in their school’s event will receive Vitality points too. Last year more than 37 schools participated. All events—big or small--are encouraged, and MPS Safe Routes to School can help your school include students who ride the bus or are driven too.  
 
 

MINNEAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS SAFE ROUTES to SCHOOL STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN  

The new Minneapolis Public Schools Safe Routes to School Strategic Action Plan is completed! Providing fun, safe, and convenient opportunities for youth to walk and bike not only improves wellness, connectedness, and quality of life in our community, but is also one piece of achieving the academic goals of MPS. The plan brings a focus on equity throughout all SRTS actions and in coordination between MPS, City, and Hennepin County staff. Together with our many partners, we will work toward a vision where all students have opportunities to walk and bike, where communities are safe and connected, and where the beauty that Minneapolis offers is accessible to all. 

HOW WILL YOU GET TO SCHOOL THIS YEAR?

The Minneapolis Walking Routes for Youth map can help you plan your route!

 

Mark your calendars! 

2017-2018 Walk and Bike to/at School dates

October 4, 2017 ~ Walk & Bike to School Day 
February 7, 2018 ~ Winter Walk Day, (Winter Wellness Week February 5-February 9)
May 9, 2018 ~ Bike Walk Let's Roll MPS (MPS Wellness Week, May 7-May 11)
 

Active Commute Equals Active Mind

MPS Safe Routes encourages students and families to actively commute to school. Research suggests students who walk to school have better attendance and higher achievement than those who do not. A recent study found that walking or biking to school improved children's concentration during the school day much more than eating breakfast or lunch did!. Other research links walking and creativity. As we all play a role in student success, in students achieving their dreams, MPS Safe Routes offers the commute to school as a small piece of this larger goal. Please contact MPS Safe Routes if you'd like assistance starting Safe Routes efforts in your community, educating staff and students on safe routes, organizing bike/walk events and walking buses, establishing school-owned bicycle fleets and/or addressing safety concerns.

Recent publication  | Journal of School Health | Critical Connections: Health and Academics | Volume 85, Issue 11 | November 2015

The November Issue of the Journal of School Health is devoted to the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model. One article in this issue focuses on Health and Academic Achievement. Some excerpts: “Despite these [reform] efforts, there has been minimal improvement in student achievement. One reason might be that these education-specific approaches are not addressing health-related barriers to learning… Researchers have been examining the association between physical activity and academic achievement for almost 50 years…[research] consistently showed that physical activity had a significant positive association with students' cognitive functioning (eg, concentration and memory)…. In addition, a recent review, based on a meta-analysis of 20 experimental studies, concluded that students participating in physical activity had improved academic achievement including better concentration and attention, higher achievement tests scores, and higher math scores compared with students who did not.” Read the article.
 

Safe Routes to School Highlights from 2016-2017:

  • Fifteen schools held once, monthly, or weekly Bus Stop & Walks this year: Kenwood, Northrop, Seward, Lucy Laney, Loring, Lyndale, Keewaydin, Wenonah, Bancroft, Hale, Hiawatha, Howe, Anwatin, Cityview, and Pratt. Each week, more than 4,000 “extra” students experienced the joys and reaped the benefits of walking to school. In a year-end survey of the Bus Stop & Walk, 97% of staff reported that on the days of the Bus Stop & Walk, students arrived to school MORE ALERT and READY to LEARN!  (See full survey results.) The state of Minnesota is creating a Bus Stop & walk guide, based on our efforts in MPS. MPS staff, students, and parents also star in the Minnesota online crossing guard training. The stars of MPS shine brightly!

  • More than 1,500 MPS students discovered freedom, beauty, and adventure on the streets and trails of Minneapolis using the MPS bicycle fleet and the Walk! Bike! Fun! curriculum. These students from Anishinabe, Folwell, Transition Plus, Hmong International Academy, North HS, Loring, Seward, Whittier, Bethune, Nellie Stone Johnson, Marcy, and Lyndale collectively pedaled their bicycles more than 8,000 miles—going farther than the year before and biking the equivalent of  Miami to Seattle and THEN BACK AGAIN.

  • In the summer many more students will be bicycling EVERY DAY in the Stem Academy summer programs at Cityview, NEMS and Waite Park. School bicycle fleets across MPS will also be in use this summer!

  • The bicycle maintenance class at Transition Plus took excellent care of the MPS bicycle fleet over the winter. The school also created and implemented a first-of-its-kind bike share for students, providing convenient access and life-long skill development for T-Plus students. 

  • Five more MPS staff completed League Cycling Instructor training in May: Kyle Hansen (Bethune), Tom Perry, (T-Plus) Deangelo Hammond (Bethune), Jeremiah Schadegg (Anishinabe) and Heather Hinrichsen (South). Way to go BIKE LEADERS!
  • MPS SRTS joined MPS Culinary & Wellness Services and engaged the community in updating its strategic SRTS, due out summer 2017, with help from a planning grant from MnDOT SRTS.

  • 36 schools and about 9,000 students and staff participated in walk and bike to school day in October.

  • 28 MPS schools celebrated Winter Walk Day during the first annual Winter Wellness Week. 

  • 11,000 students and staff participated in bike and walk events at 42 schools during MPS Wellness Week, up from 2,000 and 15, respectively, in 2012 when we first starting coordinating the event.  More than 36 schools and 9,000 students and staff participated in May Bike and Walk to School Day events.

  • The second annual Let's Roll MPS was held on National Bike to School Day!  About 200 students, parents, staff, and community members joined the five mile ride along the Mississippi and on "secret" Minneapolis trails with Culinary & Wellness Services providing fantastic food at the end. Mark your calendar for May 9, 2018, 3 PM and do NOT miss this ride in 2018!